Bone by bone, this is crawling up my spine.
Eating and corroding its way into the deepest depths of being.
Mingling with the cells and gnawing at them as it once gnawed the cords of my heart.
A thick shadow of the past rises up out of nothing,
Like some fetid liquid splashing upward into the face.
Suddenly and without cause.
Wretched and hollow.
As abysmal and black as peering into a ravine at night.
Though there is no echo of the present when I call into its gaping mouth.
Only the repetitive, imprinted sound of the past..
Before falling coldly back into silence.
This very silence holds me in a merciless embrace.
Endlessly reminds me that your departure is final.
Though at times, I can still feel your teeth embedded in my neck.
Your claws digging hard and deep into the flesh of my waist,
And the sensation is much like when a limb is severed..
The brain refuses to accept its absence,
And the pain lingers long after the flesh has gone.
I both loved and hated the scent of your breath.
The way it always smelled like artificial cinnamon and cigarette smoke..
It reminded me of taking risks.
Of loving something broken.
Of the desire to make the cogs of broken clocks turn again..
Just to hear the tick.
But now, it reminds me of glass shattering.
Of the sensation of slowly being ripped in half,
And in this moment I remember how abrasive and erratic your laugh was.
To you, it is a fragment as brittle and diminutive as the rib bone of a mouse.
Something that should be so easily broken..
Snapped between two fingers with hardly even a tremor of muscle movement.
Though just as swiftly as it is broken, it should be forgotten.
Left behind as a fleeting, insignificant memory.
Yet you carry that little rib bone in in the palm of your hand.
Preserving it, caring for it, intentionally fossilizing it.
When long ago it should have melted into the soil of the Earth.
Long ago it should have been discarded for the sad little nothing it always was.
How can so small a thing strengthen with time?
How can it deepen its roots to the point where they could never be dug out?
It rests there, that filthy rib bone, nestled in the darkness and safety of your mind..
Where it will stay for as long as it plagues you.
For as long as you allow such a tiny, frail thing to destroy the man you could have become.